quick reference: organic labeling.

Connecticut recently made history by becoming the first state in the nation to pass a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified organisms {note: many GMO crops are outlawed in Europe and Japan}. Given Monsanto's lobbying capabilities, it is unlikely we will see widespread change anytime soon. Most Americans say they would avoid buying genetically modified food if it was labeled.

When buying fruits and veggies, you can determine if the item is organic by checking the PLU (price look-up) code. This handy code is located on that pesky sticker on your fruit and vegetables.

If it starts with a 9, it is organic, and you're good to go. There was a widespread rumor - some refer to it as an "urban legend" - that five digit PLUs beginning with an 8 marked GMOs. I realized I had never seen one and thought that might be because I shop at Whole Foods. Wrong. Turns out, the concept exists that GMOs could be marked with a five digit code beginning with an 8, but in reality, it is not in practice.

And why would it be? Americans have indicated a desire to avoid genetically modified produce, but GMOs cannot be avoided if they are not labeled. The only way to avoid GMOs entirely is to buy organic. Which is exactly what your representative will tell you to do if you ask why a concerted effort is not being made to require the labeling of GMOs.

Ignorance is bliss? Not for us. We'll keep trying to buy all organic, despite the difficulties (price, availability, non-local, etc.).

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